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The Shape Up campaign is designed to get seniors involved with physical activity programs at seven community centers: North Bellevue Community Center, Bitter Lake Community Center, Loyal Heights Community Center, Burien Senior Center, Mt. Si Senior Center, Sno-Valley Senior Center, and Northshore Senior Center.

If you have questions about the Shape Up campaign, contact Alan Abe, Fall Prevention Manager, at 206-263-8544 or email: alan.abe@kingcounty.gov. You may also use our online form.

The best way to reduce falls is to be physically active. When seniors choose activity programs that build strength, balance and flexibility, they significantly reduce their chances of experiencing a fall. The Shape Up campaign is a great way for older adults to get plugged into free and low-cost community activity programs. The Shapeup program provides a discount to older adults 50+ to participate in group physical activity classes at seven community/senior centers in King County, with the intent that older adults will continue to participate in other physical activity classes. Exercise can benefit older adults by improving their health and independence. The problems related to mobility and falls are related in part to muscle strength and balance. Older women report lower rates of exercise, 6% for 65-74 and 4% above 75. Taking part in physical activity three to five times a week can help reduce the risk for a fall.

Falls have a significant impact on older populations. The King County Medical Examiner certified 594 deaths as non-traffic accidents for the calendar year 2011. The largest group of accidental deaths were those who died as a result of a fall, 49% (291/594). Of the 291 deaths attributed to injury sustained in falls, 80% (233/291) occurred in the age group 70 years and over. A large percentage were ground-level falls in elderly individuals, which resulted in fractures leading to complications such as pneumonia.

Since the ShapeUp program began in 2009, over 2,551 older adults have participated in the program. Depending on the community/senior center, 50% to 75% of Shape-Up participants continue to take other physical activity classes.

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